by Rupert Brooke
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
The War Prayer
- Mark Twain
In Mark Twain's "The War Prayer," a stranger visits a congregation praying for victory in war. In front of the entire congregation, this stranger outlines the cost on human life that this victory would entail. "The War Prayer" is Twain's scathing indictment on war and blind patriotism.Pair "The War Prayer" with "The Solider" and ask students to compare and contrast the author's message in each work. How does each author probably feel about war?
The Second Coming
- William Butler Yeats
In this famous poem, William Butler Yeats paints a terrifying, apocalyptic scene in order to describe the atmosphere of Europe following World War I.Pair "The Soldier" (1914) with "The Second Coming" (1919), and ask students to draw conclusions about how popular opinion shifted after WWI.
- Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Loraine Sassoon (1886-1967) was an English writer, poet, and soldier. “Dreamers,” a poem about the dark side of war and its impact on soldiers, was likely inspired by Sassoon’s own experiences in World War I.Pair "Dreamers" (1918) with "The Soldier" (1914) - two poems narrated by an English soldier in WWI - and ask students to discuss how each poem offers a different perspective of war. What do these two poems tell us about how people's perception of WWI changed?
Anthem for Doomed Youth
- Wilfred Owen
In Wilfred Owen’s illustrious poem “Anthem for Doomed Youth,” a speaker grieves the needless and undignified loss of human life he observed during the First World War.Pair “Anthem for Doomed Youth” with “The Soldier” and ask students to compare the themes and forms of the two pieces. Does the form of the sonnet have the same effect on the way each poem reads? How does the perspective on war expressed in the latter text differ from that of the former?
Resistance to the Vietnam War
- Jessica McBirney
This article discusses the reasons behind popular resistance to the Vietnam War along with the ways people showed their disapproval (and, eventually, helped bring the war to an end).Pair "The Soldier" with "Resistance to the Vietnam War" and have students compare the two perspectives on war. In the poem, how does the author portray the life of a soldier? Why do you think feelings toward the Vietnam War were so different?
The Death of a Soldier
- Wallace Stevens
In Wallace Stevens’s poem “The Death of a Soldier,” a soldier’s life and death is compared to autumn.Pair “The Soldier” with “The Death of a Soldier” and ask students to compare how each poet uses figurative language to explore the notion of death. How does the literary device the poet chooses to use influence the idea portrayed to readers?